Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes Wildflowers & Trees Of Appalachia

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Hearts A-Bustin

My life in appalachia - Hearts A Bustin

Euonymus Americanus-much better known as Hearts A Bustin’ grows in the woods surrounding my house. For most of the growing season the bush is one you hardly notice. But come Fall of the year it really puts on a show with its hot pink heart bustin open to reveal the red berries inside.

The bush is also commonly called: catspaws, strawberry bush, and jewel box.

Hearts a bustin strawberry bush catspaw jewel box

Even though the bush has long since lost its bustin hearts for this year-today seemed totally appropriate for me to tell you about it. Guitar Man is getting on a plane up North early this morning and Pap and Steve are headed to Atlanta to pick him up right about now. All our hearts are bustin with happiness knowing Guitar Man is coming home for Christmas.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    December 17, 2011 at 9:36 am

    What a neat little plant. I’ve not seen those before.
    Enjoy your time with Guitar Man!!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    December 13, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    We have hearts a bustin’,too. Merry Christmas to the whole Blind Pig Gang!

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    December 13, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Kinda looks like bittersweet. Bittersweet has been picked so much up here for decoration that it has become an endangered plant… honestly!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Well Tipper had not been able to read your enlightning message till now –not quite sure if you get these post after a certain hour of the day ?? But I wanted to say what an interesting bush I wonder if they are up here in the north? I am so happy for you that guitar man will be home for the holiday family becomes so much stronger at certain times of the year so make sure all of you can get together and jam.

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    December 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I would love to have some of those in my yard! Beautiful. Never seen anything like it. Thanks for showing it. Nana

  • Reply
    December 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Beautiful! and happy for you!

  • Reply
    B f
    December 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    i willl ask too…. can the seeds be bought and where could this plant be found>it is beautiful

  • Reply
    December 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Wonderful pictures Tipper. In the Ozarks we called the plant “Hearts a burstin with Love”. For this occasion, this seems appropriate for you and your family. May your have a joyful reunion and a Blessed Christmas!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2011 at 10:53 am

    That is a beautiful plant! I don’t believe that I have ever seen one.

  • Reply
    December 13, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I do love a cats paw! We have some down near the bottoms. Thanks for sharing this! I am so glad you have family coming home for Christmas! Have a blessed one!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I’m praying for a safe trip for your folks to the airport and home.Know it’s always good to have the kids home. Never have seen the flower bush so am not sure it grows here.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    December 13, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Good to hear that Guitar Man is getting a break from studies and a chance to get back down to experience the good life! Merry Christmas to the Blind Pig gang as well as all the Acorns out there!

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    December 13, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Never seen those before but probaly walked right over Glad to hear he’s coming home for Christmas.. Wish them safe travel..

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    December 13, 2011 at 9:52 am

    One more thing….If Mother Nature can wear those Hearts A’ Bustin’ colors together so can we….LOL…I would love to have a scarf with that blend…
    Thanks again…

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    December 13, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Looking forward to some more Christmas music with the presence of Guitar Man back home….Know you all will be “Rockin round the Christmas Tree” ;and having fun…
    I love Hearts a’Bustin’…we have them growing here on our driveway and in the woods…Like you say generally they are just part of the green woodsy landscape until late in the season and then Wow do they put on a show that just draw you to them…I have oftn wondered what all that color was about the orange seeds and Rose Red…and what varmit except maybe birds it attracts…
    Thanks Tipper for another great post…

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    December 13, 2011 at 9:44 am

    safe journey for all — how nice to have him home for Christmas (and another “picker” to enjoy). Love the hame “hearts-a-busting ’cause I’ve felt that blessing many times, especially at Christmas.

  • Reply
    December 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful and interesting plant with us. I haven’t seen one before. So glad that Guitarman is on his way home for Christmas!
    I know that you are looking forward to all being together.

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    December 13, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Tipper: Would you believe I have TWO ‘Hearts a bustin’ shrubs growing in my gardens? HOWEVER, the dang deer keep the buds nibbled off and I rarely see those fantastic bud openings. Would any of your readers or the Deer Hunter be interested in ‘goen deer huntin’ in my back yard?
    Thanks for the ‘other names’ for this beautiful plant!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    December 13, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Bill-give it a google and several purchasing choices will come up.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    December 13, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Dolores-it grows wild. But I have heard of nurseries selling it too.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    December 13, 2011 at 9:02 am

    tipper that is so sweet.. and perfect… thats how i feel when you are so happy you could burst… and that flower just fits right into your mood.. im so glad that your family will be together for the holidays… these are the times to cherish and carry with us.. when we need cheering up..
    may they all travel safely home to you…. give them a big ladybug hug for me

  • Reply
    December 13, 2011 at 8:47 am

    We have those on our property. Didn’t know what they were. Good info!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Thanks for the info on that bush, I have saw them around our house but never knew what they were called. It is so Great that Guitar Man is coming for Christmas. The Holidays are more special when you have family at home.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 13, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Yes, very appropriate with Guitar Man coming home!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2011 at 8:29 am

    It is so very wonderful that he will be home for Christmas. I so well remember the homesickness for my Appalachian Mountains when I was away. You need to give Pap and Steve special thanks, as driving through Atlanta remains one of my worst experiences.
    I love the way you bring little things to our attention and make them special. I’ve probably tromped all around the Hearts a Bustin’ bush and never noticed. Don’t ever leave us, as you always make my mornin’ coffee taste better.

  • Reply
    December 13, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Awww, I love how you correlated the Bustin Hearts flower with your hearts and the thrill of having a loved one home, especially this time of year. I’m happy for you all.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    December 13, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Well now if you ain’t a botanist too.
    Last fall my brother was showing me around his place and asked me what the name of that plant is. I had seen them but couldn’t tell him the name. I googled it and looked in plant books but didn’t find it. Now when I go back to see him, I’ll tell him what it is and make like I’m smart.
    Glad to hear the Guitar Man is coming home for Christmas.

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    December 13, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I have never seen that bush. It is quite interesting. Does it grow wild or was it planted? I’m glad Guitar Man is coming home for Christmas. Happiness is family together enjoying each other. Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    December 13, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Beautiful flower as far as I know it doesn’t grow here at least I have never seen it. Wonder if the seeds can be ordered from any of the seed catalogs?

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    December 13, 2011 at 7:16 am

    I’m so pleased for your family that Guitar man will be home for Christmas.
    The flower is so pretty, I’ll be on the lookout for it next fall.

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    December 13, 2011 at 7:08 am

    How pretty! I’ve never seen those. I’ll have to keep an eye out and show it to my son so he can as he rambles about. He loves things like this bout as much as I do. So good to have family at home for Christmas!!

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